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Before the hearing

Your previous contact with the RCVS

This document is primarily intended for those appearing before the RCVS Disciplinary Committee as witnesses. You have either made a complaint against a veterinary surgeon or are a witness to events that somebody else has complained about. As part of this process you may have been interviewed and given a formal statement to solicitors. You should have been notified of the hearing date and generally, you should have indicated that you can attend on one of a number of dates. You may have received a witness summons which is issued from the High Court and requires you to attend at the RCVS on one or more dates. Normally, you are told the most likely date on which you will be asked to give evidence.

Reviewing your statement

When giving evidence at the RCVS, there will be a bundle of documents, including your witness statement, available in a file on the table in front of you (or other arrangements will be made if you are giving evidence remotely). Giving evidence is not intended to be a memory test and you are not expected to learn your statement by heart. You may, however, feel more comfortable reading the statement you made before attending the hearing, to refresh your memory of it, as it may be some time since you originally made the statement. If you would like a copy of the statement please contact the RCVS.

What to bring with you to the hearing

  1. Details of any travel and/or accommodation arrangements
  2. the telephone number for the RCVS, should you, for example, be delayed and need to contact us
  3. reading glasses, if you wear them; and,
  4. a book or some other activity to keep you occupied while you wait to give evidence.

On the day of the hearing you will be provided with tea and coffee and can claim your lunch as an expense. If the Disciplinary Committee adjourn part way through your evidence, the College may provide you with lunch, therefore if you have any special dietary requirements please let us know in advance.

The RCVS address and telephone number

The RCVS premises are in London at the following address:

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Belgravia House
62-64 Horseferry Road
London
SW1P 2AF

Tel: 020 7222 2001

Map of the RCVS

Travelling to the RCVS

The RCVS is on Horseferry Road in Westminster, and a map of the location is attached. The RCVS has good transport links. Pimlico (Victoria line), St James’ Park (District and Circle Lines) and Westminster tube stations (District, Circle and Jubilee lines) are a 10-15 minute walk away from the RCVS. The RCVS is also only a short taxi / bus ride (Bus route 507) from both Waterloo and Victoria main line stations.

The RCVS is accessible by wheelchair, but it would be helpful to know in advance if you will need this sort of access.

Meeting others at the hearing

You may be concerned about meeting the veterinary surgeon against whom you are giving evidence. The RCVS provides a room for witnesses who are giving evidence. Generally, this room will be used for all witnesses, those giving evidence for the RCVS and those giving evidence for the veterinary surgeon, but not for the veterinary surgeon him or herself. It is likely that the veterinary surgeon in question will be present at the hearing, but you should only encounter him or her in this relatively formal setting, not while you are waiting or preparing to give evidence. If you feel at all uncomfortable about these arrangements, either before attending the hearing, or on the day, please talk to us.

Any concerns?

A representative from the RCVS will have liaised with you regarding the hearing, including which days and what times you are required to attend. If you have any concerns, regarding expenses, travel, or any other issues, please feel free to discuss theses with the representative before the hearing.